In The Times this month, global AI and data privacy authority Rafi Azim-Khan explained how the GDPR will have a growing impact on businesses embracing new technology such as AI, as well as coming international complications caused by countries enacting new, or changing current, laws.  

In the interview, Azim-Khan explained how, with the GDPR passing its fifth birthday, we are seeing ever-increasing fine levels, now in the hundreds of millions and recently exceeding $1 billion.

We are also seeing regulators flex their muscles and penalize companies if they perceive breaches of GDPR, such as the recent ban imposed in Europe on high-profile AI offering ChatGPT. (See our recent alert, AI Warning: ChatGPT Blocked for Data Laws Breach.)

In addition, there has been a ripple effect of GDPR-esque laws popping up across the U.S. and internationally. Although this is helpful to some extent regarding company desires for a uniform approach to compliance, there are some headaches in equal measure caused by various differences between these new laws.

To add to the complexity, some governments are responding to the current boom in AI and other digital economy initiatives by seeking to create a USP for their jurisdiction, such as we have recently seen with the UK unveiling proposed changes to the GDPR in the form of the new Data Protection and Digital Information (DPDI2) statute.

While this is intended to help businesses and supercharge the e-economy it may bring some risks. As Azim-Khan told The Times, “There is a second headache for businesses ... the world has seen a rush to enact new data privacy laws. What started as a trickle is now a torrent. One silver lining has been the fact many rules are GDPR-esque, meaning businesses could build on GDPR efforts for consistency.”

He added: “If the UK now strays from such global trends, departing from the GDPR as the rest of the world copies it to a material extent, it could see Britain accidentally pulling up a data drawbridge.” 

Read The Times article here (subscription required).